Tag Archives: pregnancy

Almond pancakes- low carb, high protein for gestational diabetes

low carb high protein gluten free diabetic pancakesWhile I’ve complained to everyone I know, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned here that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a few weeks ago and have to test my blood glucose six times a day, so no biscuits for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to control it with exercise and diet so far, but I have been really borderline for medication as any carbs (even the plain porridge and bran flakes the NHS diet sheets recommended) have sent my blood sugar soaring- especially first thing in the morning.

This means that for the past few weeks I’ve been stuck in some kind of Atkins/Paleo diet hell. I exaggerate, lunch and dinner aren’t too bad, but pretty much the only thing I’ve been able to eat for breakfast which hasn’t upset my blood sugar is eggs- with or without a side serving of a different type of protein. And yesterday I’d had enough. I know how important it is to keep my blood glucose controlled because of the side effects for the baby, but I was so sick of eggs I spent the day searching for high protein, low carb breakfasts and while they were mostly Paleo focused, I did find these little gems on PopSugar that I just had to try today.

I adapted the recipe slightly to reduce quantities, account for what I had in the house, take into consideration some of the comments on the article and to make sure that the toppings weren’t going to trigger a blood sugar spike (no maple syrup for me!). I was actually really pleased with how they turned out. I’d definitely make them again and they are a god send for anyone who wants a “fun” breakfast that is a healthy option at the same time.

Ingredients for 3 pancakes

  • 1 cup ground almonds (see notes)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup semi-skimmed milk
  • Half teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Coconut oil to grease the pan, but any vegetable oil would do really (see notes)

Topping

I used Yeo Valley natural yogurt because it’s the lowest in sugar that I’ve been able to find. I mashed up six raspberries to make them go further, but if you don’t have sugar issues you could probably go wild with these.

Method

Because of the small quantities I was making, I added all the ingredients at the same time and whisked them up with an electric mixer. If you are making a larger batch, I would combine the eggs and dry ingredients before gradually adding the milk.

Heat the oil in a frying pan so that it’s hot and add about a quarter of a cup of the mixture to make each pancake, turning when the base is brown and the mixture set.

Notes

The ground almonds worked well for me, but some people have said they found the texture grainy. You can buy almond flour, but I think the price of this is extortionate. In the past when making macarons, I’ve used the grinder feature on a food processor to turn the almonds into dust which might work well here.

The biscuity smell of the coconut oil made the pancakes seem sweeter to me without actually adding any sugar, but you could probably use any vegetable oil depending on your plans for topping eg. something like sunflower oil would be fine if you were going to add a savoury topping like creamed cheese and smoked salmon.

If you do decide to go for a savoury topping- omit the vanilla essence!

Effect on blood glucose

Before breakfast I had a reading of 3.7 which was below my fasting limit of 6.0. An hour after eating these I had a blood glucose of 4.8 which is well below the threshold 7.8 after food that my diabetes nurse has set. I feel like I could have afforded a few more raspberries now!

My Babies

I believe that nothing passes away without leaving a trace, and that every step we take, however small, has significance for our present and our future existence- Anton Chekhov

I came across this quote in the week, and I’m probably reading it out of context but I found it very comforting. If you read my blog now and again, then you’ll notice that I’ve been missing for a few months. I haven’t been sure how much to say about this, but recently I’ve found talking to people very cathartic and I’ve gained a lot of hope from reading about the experiences of others so I decided that I wanted to share “where I’m at” at the moment.

On December 8th, Jon and I found out at the 12 week scan for our first pregnancy that we were expecting identical twins and they were perfect. Growing as they should be, wriggling away from the scanner and vigorously trying to kick one another in the head. The pregnancy is high risk for a variety of reasons, the twins shared a placenta which is how they could tell they were identical, and as a first time mother with multiples I was high risk for pre-eclampsia, but apart from the all-consuming exhaustion that had made me sleep almost constantly when I wasn’t working for the first three months they looked great. We had regular checks, and as everything was going well, we were to come back after Christmas around 16 and a half weeks for our next check.

At that check we had some really bad news. Baby one seemed to suddenly have stopped growing and was 50% smaller than its sibling, its growth curve didn’t register on any of the percentile charts and we were prepared for the worst. It was diagnosed with severe early onset IUGR and we were told that it was very unlikely to survive. The hospital was fantastic and brought us in for regular checks to see if there was anything that could be done. These showed that, while the babies weren’t suffering from twin to twin transfusion syndrome, baby 1 had an insufficient share of the placenta, an enlarged heart from stress and the babies were showing signs of TAPs where the one baby has too much haemoglobin and the other has anaemia because of their connection. As well as the near certainty of baby 1 being unable to survive to birth, because of the shared placenta, the death of baby 1 would be able to kill or brain damage the larger twin, as within two hours of its death, all of baby 1’s blood would flood the larger twin’s body, giving them a massive surge in blood pressure.

On Monday I had surgery to occlude twin 1’s cord in the hope of protecting twin 2 to give them a better chance of survival. We were incredibly sad, but I was conscious throughout and the anaesthetist and nurses stoked my hair, held my hand and wiped my tears away as they fell. They talked to me all the time and were able to tell me when baby 1 had passed, so I was able to be quiet and alone with my feelings for a while then.

Baby 2, mercifully, seems to be doing well, they scanned me in the evening after my operation and printed a little picture of its face, I think it looks like its Daddy already. It’s heart was still beating well the next morning, and it looked strong at our last scan though I won’t be able to relax until it is safely born and I have it home with me. I was 19 weeks on Saturday and I know that we still have a long way to go. This has been the hardest time of my life, and I am so grateful to Jon and our family and friends, I don’t think I would be coping without them. I’m also in awe of the brilliant consultants, doctors and nurses who give babies like mine, with terrible odds against them, every hope of survival.

If you would like to support the great work that they continue to do, a donation can be made here.

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My babies at 13 weeks